As we prepare our homes for Thanksgiving festivities, it’s important to take some extra precautions to keep our pets safe during the holiday. We have a few tips that will help make this Thanksgiving, and all Thanksgivings to come a safe and healthy experience for you and your pet.

Step one is making sure all doors and windows in your home are secure, and that your guests now the importance of keeping them closed as your pet roams the household. No one wants to lose their pet, especially during a major holiday! We have some other tips to go along with this:

  • Be sure all your pets are microchipped and wearing identification collars. And, ensure your microchips are registered and up to date.
  • Put pets that don’t like visitors or unfamiliar sights and sounds in a closed bedroom or basement, away from the holiday shenanigans, with a plug-in pheromone diffuser and calming music.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to keep most human foods are away from your pet. While apples, carrots, and other simple foods don’t cause any health issues for your pet in moderation, certain Thanksgiving staples can cause serious health issues if ingested by your pet. Please make sure that you and your guests are mindful of this.

  • Unless your turkey is boneless, skinless, and cooked in nothing but water, avoid feeding it to your pets from the table. Turkey and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in pets, which can be life-threatening.
  • Potatoes are a healthy and nutritious vegetable for humans and pets alike. But, when mashed with butter, sour cream, cheese, onions, garlic, or gravy, they’re not a safe option for your pet (and you should probably enjoy in moderation, too). Similarly, most veggies that are healthy on their own (think green beans, carrots, and more) can be enjoyed without all the extra ingredients often found in their holiday casseroles.
  • Stay away from grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Say “no” to artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to pets.
  • Chocolate and other desserts are for you and your human buddies only. But, you knew that already, didn’t you?
  • Your pet should never consume alcohol. And, be aware of unexpected dishes that might contain it, like fruitcake.

The entire Veterinary Cancer Care team wishes you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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